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What will life be after COVID-19?

The world will be a different place after this COVID-19 settles down. That’s not automatically a bad thing, but will take effort to make sure the differences are positive.

We are seeing people react in many ways right now. Some are in panic mode, some are going about their lives as normal as possible, some people are trying to help, while others are being judgmental about the different reactions.

I don’t have a whole lot of fear about the virus itself. I believe we will figure it out in time.

I do, however, have concerns about other things related to this experience.

I am concerned about children who are out of school and don’t have adults in their lives who will lead the continuation of learning outside of the classroom. Children who have no one reading with them or giving them tasks or activities to help their development instead of activities that will hurt their development.

I am concerned that, after this subsides, people will still communicate less in person than ever before and become even more reliant on their devices for communication. Read the book by Celeste Headlee, “We Need to Talk,” and you’ll likely share my concern about the constant decreasing of our face-to-face communication.

I am concerned about the health and survivability of our small businesses. I am concerned about workers who rely on tips and others who live paycheck to paycheck and don’t have an income right now. Related to that, I am concerned about any government assistance offered becoming a permanent part of the budget well into the future.

I am also very concerned about mental health. I am concerned about loneliness, anxiety, and depression. People are already lonely and isolated in this world. They may visit the senior center, gym, church or other location just for some social time because it is all they have. Technology can never replace the value of face-to-face human interaction.

There will be long-term consequences to the decisions being made to flatten the curve regarding the spread of this virus. Whether you believe this is all necessary or not, you cannot deny there will be changes and outcomes that will affect our lives moving forward.

What can we do to help lessen some of the potential negative outcomes of this experience?

Much of it boils down to better and more communication, at least in my mind. Which is a pretty solid answer to achieving greater success in many areas of our lives (relationships, marriage, business, etc.).

Communicate more than ever before. Even if you cannot communicate face-to-face right now, communicate in other ways until you can go back to in-person. Make a phone call, send a text or a letter.

Communicate with respect, with data and logic, without judgment, with authenticity, and communicate clearly.

Reach out to those you used to see regularly but cannot at this time because of the restrictions. Reach out to the person who might be lonely or the family who might need an adult ear after spending days with their children.

Only communicate information you know to be true. Ask a small business what you can do to help. Ask someone who might not be able to work right now what they need.

Even though we are expected to isolate ourselves, that doesn’t mean we don’t still crave and thrive from interactions with other humans.

And, please, if you feel lonely or fearful, or if you need something, reach out. Communicate your needs.

We have little idea when this will end or what will be different when it ends. Things are shifting and changing, and will not look the same after this experience.

It will take all of us to make sure that the changes that come from this are positive.

It is a good time to practice an abundance mindset. It’s a good time to look internally and see how we can create positivity in a time that is full of fear and uncertainty.

We each have that ability. We can evaluate our thoughts, actions, and words, and determine the impacts we are having. Eliminate the selfish behaviors, negative communication, and unproductive actions and replace them with actions that will lead to positive outcomes.

Let’s keep the concerns I shared from becoming a reality by analyzing and adjusting our own behavior and communication accordingly.

Jackie Krawczak is president of Jackie Krawczak LLC. Her column runs every three weeks on Thursdays. Follow Jackie on Twitter @jkrawczak.

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